Samdani Art Foundation

Samdani Art Foundation

Soma Surovi Jannat (Samdani Art Award 2020 winner), Into the Yarn, Out in the One, 2019–20. Pen on plywood, wood, and wall. Commissioned for DAS 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Samdani Art Foundation. Photo: Randhir Singh.

The Samdani Art Foundation (SAF) is a private arts trust based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, founded in 2011 by collector couple Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani to support the work of the country’s contemporary artists and architects. Led by Artistic Director and Curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, SAF seeks to expand the audience engaging with contemporary art across Bangladesh and increase international exposure for the country’s artists and architects. Its programmes support Bangladeshi artists and architects in broadening their creative horizons through production grants, residencies, education programs, and exhibitions. To achieve this, SAF collaborates with the Bangladeshi government through official partnerships with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. SAF’s largest initiative is the bi-annual Dhaka Art Summit (DAS), which it founded in 2012 and continues to produce. A non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture related to South Asia, DAS rejects the traditional biennale format to create a more generative space for art and exchange that re-examines how we think about these art forms in a regional and wider context. The bi-annual Samdani Art Award, organised in partnership with the Delfina Foundation, has created an internationally recognised platform to showcase the work of young Bangladeshi artists to an international audience at DAS. 


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